Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dextrorotary or levorotatory and D or L forms

Greetings readers!

Dextrorotary or levorotatory and D or L forms - We hear these terms, especially, in biochemistry of chiral carbon atoms.

Now, I always thought in D-glucose, the D is for dextrorotary. But I was wrong.

The denotion dextro/levo and D/L is completely different and unrelated to each other.

The denotion D or L is based on how a sugar molecule at its C1 position is related to D-glyceraldehyde. The denotion devo or levo based on how it changes the direction of polarized light to right or left respectively.

Coincidentally, yes, D-glucose is also dextrorotatory. But a striking and an important example is that D-fructose is strongly levorotatory.

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